When it’s time to put your home on the market in the Bay Area, you need to give up unrealistic expectations to avoid many of the common mistakes sellers make. Selling your home is a time-consuming challenge. You will have strangers walking through your home, criticizing a home that is more than four walls and a roof to you, only to offer you less than you think your house is worth.
With limited experience and a complex transaction on your hands, it’s easy to make a lot of mistakes. Here’s what you can do to get the highest price for your home as fast as possible, without losing your head.
Mistake #1: Getting emotionally involved in the transaction
You need to think of yourself as a businessperson and a seller rather than a homeowner. Look at this major transaction from a financial perspective to distance yourself from the very real emotional aspects that come with selling your home in the Bay Area.
It helps to put yourself in a buyer’s position; do you remember when you were shopping for a home, and how high your emotions ran? You’re not just selling a home but an image and a dream, so put in some effort to help buyers imagine themselves in your home.
Real estate agents may charge a standard commission of 5-6% of your sale price, or you can opt for a discount free agent who charges 1%. Either way, it’s usually best to get an agent to help you sell your home, especially if you’ve never done it before. An agent will help you set a fair, competitive price for your home to improve your chances of a quick sale. An agent will also deal with potential buyers to make the process easier for you.
Agents are also important when it’s time to negotiate, as there’s a good chance they will help you get more money than you could on your own.
Mistake #3: Setting an unrealistic asking price
The most common mistake sellers make? Asking too much for their home; the value of your home is not based on what you paid, what you’ve put into the house or your happy memories associated with the property. A home in the Bay Area is worth what the market says it is worth, and what a buyer will pay.
Pricing a home is part art and part science, and it requires analyzing comparable sales, your home’s location and condition, demand and market movement. If your home is priced too high, the offers you do receive will often be lowballs. Your home will lose its appeal when it sits on the market too long, and you’ll lose your competitive edge when you have to lower your price later.
Mistake #4: Not fixing up the home
You need to do more than make the beds and clean dirty dishes before selling your home in the Bay Area. You should also put some money into updates and quick fixes. Doing repairs before you sell can boost the price you get, and how fast you sell. If buyers see deferred maintenance, they will wonder what else is wrong!
You should also stage your home to make it as welcoming and appealing to potential buyers as possible. This includes removing personal items and photos so buyers can imagine themselves in your home.
Mistake #5: Marketing your home incorrectly
Agents and sellers can both make a lot of marketing mistakes, including using badly shot photographs in MLS. Effective marketing includes great photos that highlight the best features of the home, signage, plus virtual tours of the home, print advertising, open houses and direct mail.